Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good Enough? Or Great?

When I first got my pro card about 1.5 years ago I had a conversation with someone. This person told me that to be successful I had to be "hard" and willing to suffer. They also told me that because I had it "easy" I might not make it. This person said this because I was moving with my husband to Napa, California. We bought a house and I had the opportunity to leave my job as a swim coach and train full time. It is probably no secret to anyone who reads this blog that right now I am a losing business proposition. I am making a lot of investments (i.e., training) and I believe these will pay off in a couple of years but without the love and support of my husband I would not be able to train full time. The person I was speaking with was talking about this point. I do not have to fight to win races to put food on my table. What motivation is there to take the suffering up a notch? Will I just settle to be good? During the actual conversation, these things were said with a bluntness that was off putting and slightly insulting.

A couple hours later I received an email from this person admitting they were a bit harsh and did not want the conversation to be taken as if they did not believe in me. I have had the email in my inbox for about 2 years and for some reason this morning I took a look at it. I noticed a phrase that I might of missed when I first read the email but today it stood out to me. It said "sometimes the biggest obstacle to great is good." In training and in my races I need to remember this point. I can say to myself that an interval in training is good enough but can it be better, can it be great? Same with racing; 11th is good, but what would be great? How deep do I need to dig to be great in this race?

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